Ricotta is somewhat of a staple from my mother's region (they would make their own just about every day) - so try to find the freshest ricotta you can get, steer clear of those sealed packets in the supermarket and hunt out the real stuff from a good deli, that is unless you feel like making some of your own.
500 grams fresh ricotta, drained and passed through a fine sieve
1 tablespoon flour
3 eggs, separated
100 grams icing sugar
30 grams sultanas
2 tablespoons Brandy
pinch of cinnamon
grated zest of 1 lemon
Marinate the sultanas with the Brandy - set aside.
Preheat the oven to about 180°C/350°F.
Sieve the ricotta into a bowl and add the flour, egg yolks, pinch of cinnamon, lemon zest and sugar, mixing well. Then stir in the sultanas and any liquid that is still remaining.
Whisk the egg whites until fluffy but not too stiff.
Spoon a third of the egg whites into the ricotta mixture and stir well to slaken. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Pour out into a well buttered and floured cake tin. Cook for about 30 minutes.
Let it cool before turning out - I like to dust the top (which will become the bottom with a little icing sugar) before placing it on a dish. Dust again with a combination of cinnamon powder and icing sugar to finish.
I've served it here with some baked fruit (there's a recipe for that coming up). The pudding itself is incredibly light and compliments the fruit quite nicely.
The sultanas can be replaced with candied fruit if you desire and the alcohol can be omitted or substituted depending on your tastes. I wouldn't make this with nuts, since their texture would be too jarring in comparison to the softness and delicacy of the pudding.